Most residents affected by the Creek Fire will be allowed to return home Thursday evening, officials said.
The fire has spread across 15,323 acres, or nearly 24 square miles, since breaking out early Tuesday morning in the area of Kagel Canyon Road, north of Lake View Terrace. But the blaze did not grow overnight Wednesday, according to Cal Fire. It is 10 percent contained.
Limeklin Canyon remains closed from Pacoima Canyon Road to Maclay Street. Ebey Canyon and Doane Canyon is in the Riverwood community is open to residents only as of 5 p.m. Thursday and the Shadow Hills area north of Sunland Boulevard is also open to residents only.
Residents in the Limekiln Canyon, Shadow Hills and Riverwood neighborhoods remain evacuated as those areas are still being affected by the fire, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a news conference Thursday evening.
Flames were spreading northeast of where the fire originally broke out with winds around 30 mph on the fire line, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Chris Reade. Crews were working to contain flare ups, he said.
“It has been very difficult," Reade told KTLA. "Those winds can push an ember miles ahead of the fire, creating its own fire.”
About 15 structures have been destroyed, and another 15 were damaged. About 2,500 remained under threat Thursday, fire officials said.
In addition to strong winds up that could reach 70 mph, dry weather, poor access and steep, rugged terrain were creating difficulties for firefighters, officials said. The wind gusts were expected to continue through Sunday, creating uncertainty about when residents will be allowed to return home.
Meanwhile, the brush fire index stood at 296 — the high rating possible, according to Los Angeles City Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas.
“We’re not done, we’re in the middle of this event,” Terrazas said in a Thursday morning news conference.
Two Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters were injured battling the blaze – one in a bulldozer rollover and another by the explosion of a propane tank. Both were doing well, Terrazas said.
A map of currently evacuated areas and shelters can be found here.
The Los Angeles Unified School District also shuttered 265 schools throughout the region, with most in the San Fernando Valley. More information can be found here. Schools will remain closed Friday, Garcetti said, adding that Los Angeles libraries will be open where board games and activities will be available for children.
Meals will be available from 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday at Byrd Middle School in Sun Valley and Reseda High School.
Information can also be obtained via the Creek Incident Information Line at 626-574-5208.
KTLA's Cindy Von Quednow contributed to this story.